The Philippines, represented by Sugar Regulatory Admininistration (SRA) Administrator Ma. Regina Bautista Martin, Atty Jesus Barrera, SRA board member, and Mr. Francisco Varua, President of the Philippine Sugar Millers Association, Inc. (PSMA) was again appointed and elected as Member of the United Nations International Sugar Organization (ISO) Administrative Committee for 2015 in the recently held ISO conference last November 25 – 26, 2014 and council meetings last November 27 – 28, 2014.

This membership to the Administrative Committee gives the Philippines extensive access to the policy making process of the ISO

This was made possible by the deep and enduring friendships developed by both Administrator Martin and Mr. Varua among ISO Council members especially, their personal rapport with the executive director and senior representatives of the ISO Council.

Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka provided strong support for the re-election of the Philippines as member of the Committee.

Guatemala has been elected as ISO Chairman for 2015 and will host the 29th Annual ISO Conference in Antigua on the 22nd to the 25th of June 2015 while Sri Lanka was elected Vice-Chairman.

During the conference, the Philippine delegation met with the Senior Representatives of the  Guatemalan Sugar association (ASAZGUA) regarding their accurate six-month weather forecasting technology which has greatly contributed to the high efficiency of Guatemalan sugar production.

The Philippine delegates agreed that studying this technology, and if viable, subsequently acquiring it even before the 2015 Conference in Antigua, Guatemala.

This move would seamlessly connect with the objectives of the legislative bill on the Sugarcane Industry Development Act pending before the Bicameral Committee.

The proposed 30% allocation to research related to enhancing sugar production efficiencies would certainly be timely in enhancing the competitiveness of the Philippine sugar industry in the world stage. (SRA)